Chinese New Year or ‘Spring Festival’ is China’s most important festival and holiday time. February 5th marks the year of the Pig. Occupying the last position in the Chinese Zodiac, the 12th, the Pig symbolizes such character traits as diligence, compassion, and generosity. Pigs enjoy life and because they are entertaining, others enjoy their company, they are pretty delicous to boot
In celebration of the Year of the Pig, we will offer up some fun, favorite, yummy recipes featuring our friend the piggy.
Asian Pulled Pork Tacos
- 3 lbs pork shoulder or 3 lbs pork shoulder or 3 lbs tenderloin
- 1 large yellow onion
- 2⁄3 cup hoisin sauce
- 1⁄2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon rice wine
- 2 inches diced lemongrass
- 2 tablespoons fresh, grated ginger
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely grated
- 1⁄2 teaspoon Chinese 5 Spice
- Salt & pepper to taste
What you do with them
- In a small sauce pan mix: hoisin sauce, honey, soy sauce, ½ cup of water, sesame oil, mirin, rice wine, lemongrass, ginger, garlic, and the Chinese 5 spice.
- Set aside 1/4 cup for basting.
- Heat the rest over low temp on the stove over to thicken. About 30 min, whisking occasionally to prevent burning.
- Remove from heat and set aside to cool completely.
- Place onion chunks in bottom of crock pot and set as low. Salt and pepper the pork on both sides and place on top of the onions.
- Baste top and sides of pork with the reserved sauce.
- Cook for 6-8 hours on low (3-5 hours on high).
- Add the cooled sauce to a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside.
- Garnish with shredded green and purple cabbage, thinly slices quick-pickled radishes and cucumbers, green onion, cilantro and basil. Dress with a drizzle of spicy sriracha aioli and a drizzle of the Korean inspired BBQ sauce reduction.
Pork & Ginger Pot Stickers
- 2 cups chopped napa cabbage
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- 1/2 pound ground pork (Don’t get lean pork, the fat is good for juicy and flavorful dumplings)
- 2 tablespoons minced ginger
- 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons thin soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 egg
- 1 to 2 cups chicken stock or water
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups boiling water
- 1/3 cup thin soy sauce
- 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup sliced scallions
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon sambal
What you do with them
- Sprinkle cabbage with the 1/2 tablespoon of salt and let stand for 30 minutes. Place the cabbage on a clean dishtowel or cheesecloth and squeeze out any water. The dryer the cabbage the better. In a large bowl thoroughly mix the cabbage with all of the other ingredients, except the chicken stock. Cook a tester to check the seasoning.
- In a stainless steel bowl mix flour and salt. Slowly add hot water to flour in 1/4 cup increments. Mix with chopsticks until a ball is formed and the dough is not too hot to handle. On a floured surface, knead dough until it becomes a smooth, elastic ball. Place back in bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rest for at least 1 hour. Working on a floured surface with floured hands, roll out dough to form a long ‘noodle’, 1-inch in diameter. Cut 1/2-inch pieces and turn them over so the cut sides are facing up. Flatten with your palm and roll out thin using a rolling pin. The dumpling wrapper should end up about 3 inches in diameter.
- COOKING THE DUMPLINGS: In a hot saute pan coated well with oil, place pot stickers flat side down and cook until the bottom is browned. Have pan cover ready and add 1 cup of chicken stock, cover immediately. Be careful, the liquid will splatter! The stock will steam the pot stickers. Check them in 5 minutes as more stock may be needed. The trick here is that once the dumplings are firm and fully cooked the stock will evaporate and the bottoms will crisp-up again.
- MAKING THE DUMPLINGS: Place a small mound of filling in the middle of the wrapper. (Be very careful not to touch the edges with the filling as this will impede proper sealing of the dumplings. Nothing is worse than dumplings breaking during cooking.) Fold the wrapper in half to form a half moon shape. Starting on one end fold/pinch the wrapper tightly together. Proceed with this fold/pinch method until the dumpling is completely sealed. There will be approximately 10 to 14 folds per dumpling. Rest the dumplings with the folded edges straight up.
SPICY SOY DIPPING SAUCE:
- Combine all and serve in a small bowl.
- Serve pot stickers on a large platter lined with lettuce with a bowl of dipping sauce on the side.